Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings-Jets set-up and overnight report: Recipe for ending 5-game home losing streak…Sit #71?

This will go on top as I forgot it: The Toast of Hockeytown takes place on Wednesday, and Nicklas Lidstrom will be in attendance. If you're interested in getting dressed up and meeting your favorite Wings (including Chris Chelios), rock on with your bad self, because the event raises funds for the Red Wings foundation.

Anyway, the Detroit Red Wings flew to Toronto to take in Chris Chelios and Brendan Shanahan's inductions into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday afternoon, but they returned to Detroit with a stiff task ahead of them:

Absent Jonathan Ericsson (at least until Friday), Brendan Smith (for another week or two?), Stephen Weiss (7-10 days?) and with Daniel Cleary possibly benched due to a lack of production (I would argue that he looks like he's still trying to remember that he's a Wing after looking like someone who'd saved a marriage at the last minute during training camp) the offensively-challenged and turnover-prone Red Wings hope to break their 5-game home losing streak and turn around a 3-3-and-4 record over their past 10 games when they tangle with the 8-9-and-2 Winnipeg Jets this evening (7:30 PM EST, FSD/TSN Jets/97.1 FM).

The Wings' latest trio of losses have involved dropping a trio of 1-goal leads, including a 2-1 lead in the Wings' 4-2 loss to Winnipeg on November 4th, and the Jets have won two of three games since defeating the Wings a week ago Monday.

The Jets experienced a setback in a 4-1 road loss to Chicago on Wedneday, November 6th, but they returned to Winnipeg and defeated the Predators 5-0 on Friday and the Sharks via a 5-4 shootout decision on Sunday.

During Sunday's game, the Jets' captain took the team on his back, as the Canadian Press's recap noted...

Two clutch shots by Andrew Ladd gave the Winnipeg Jets a comeback win. Ladd scored the tying goal with 1:43 remaining in regulation and then delivered the shootout winner to lift Winnipeg over the San Jose Sharks 5-4 on Sunday night.

"We needed a goal at the end," said Ladd, who scored his fifth of the season. "(Bryan Little) made a great play, and I tried to get it off as quick as I could."

Michael Frolik, Dustin Byfulgien and Grant Clitsome also scored for the Jets. Ladd had the lone goal in the tiebreaker.

Dan Boyle scored two power-play goals for San Jose, but the defenseman couldn't beat Ondrej Pavelec in the shootout. Pavelec stopped Logan Couture, Tommy Wingels and Boyle. Tomas Hertl and Wingels each had a goal for the Sharks (10-2-5), who lost in a shootout for the third time in their last four games.

Ladd tied it late in the third period on a quick shot from the left circle with Blake Wheeler screening goalie Antti Niemi.

The Sharks took a 4-3 lead early in the third period on a precise play, with Couture's no-look, backhand pass setting up Boyle for an easy goal from point-blank range. Even then, the Jets believed they could force overtime.

"We still felt there was time on the clock and we could get some stuff done," coach Claude Noel said.

And NHL.com's Patrick Williams noted that the Jets are quite happy with having defeated both the Wings and Sharks via a pair of comeback wins:

"I thought the outcome was great," Jets coach Claude Noel said. "We couldn't have drawn it up better. I thought we were resilient in the game. I thought we didn't lose our focus. We didn't lose our hope. I thought we played a solid game. I thought there were a lot of really good things in the game. To me, it was a huge building block for our team, this game, in a lot of different ways."

The Jets had rallied from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to tie the game at 3-3 by the end of the second period before San Jose defenseman Dan Boyle converted for the second time in the game on the power play early in the third period.

"It's a big win, with the way we won," Ladd said. "This should do a lot for this room. We need to win a lot of games to get back into the playoff mix here. Every game is so important, and we can't afford to take any nights off. We're going to need that urgency night in and night out. These last two games have been a good start."

Boyle's two power-play goals on six man-advantage opportunities helped a San Jose power play that had been on a 3-for-28 slide dating to Oct. 19. The two-goal night was Boyle's first since April 7, 2012 against the Los Angeles Kings. San Jose also received goals from Tomas Hertl and Wingels.

Winnipeg countered with goals from Michael Frolik, Dustin Byfuglien and Grant Clitsome.

"Unfortunately, we made some mistakes," Boyle said, "and they made us pay."

On Monday, the Jets engaged in a quick practice before heading to Detroit...

And the Winnipeg press was in travel mode as well, so the Winnipeg Free Press's "staff" took note of the Jets' "optional"...

They leave Winnipeg riding high: three games won out of the last four, with a thrilling come-from-behind shoot-out win against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday night. "I’d like us to go into Detroit with a mindset of expecting to win," Noel said. "That’s a large comment, especially from where we’ve come from. But I mean that in the context of building on the confidence we’ve built within ourselves."

On that confidence: with a recent burst of offense and some scrappy wins, the Jets are laughing a whole lot more around the rink, defenceman Grant Clitsome said. After all the meetings of the lackluster opening weeks, all the talk around practice and the games, it’s a welcome shot of mirth.

"It’s always a lot more fun coming to the rink when you’re winning," said Clitsome, who picked up three points in Sunday’s win, as fellow blueliner Dustin Byfuglien playfully called at him from outside the Jets dressing room. "I think it’s good, it’s a nice change, a little breath of fresh air. Hopefully we can keep it rolling."

Oh, you know, but someone has to chip in with a little reality: this is not a team without its glaring flaws. The most obvious, on the books, is the league-worst power play, now operating at just 8.8 per cent. The Jets were fruitless again last night, going zip-for-two.

Noel thought the chances looked a little improved against the Sharks, but looks aren’t goals. "Some things were happening at the net that were better," he said. "What happens in cases like this… there’s a lot of raw emotions that’s not good, that gets projected there, because it’s a factor in games. People really start to grip things, the more tension you bring to it, the more pressure builds and mounts."

Bottom line? "We’re not happy with it, we recognize it, we know it, we see it, we hear about it. All the time," he said. "We’re doing the best we can to get it on the right track. There’s not much more I can say than that. People are losing sleep over this."

Does that include the coach? "I lose sleep over a lot of things," he said. "But I’m not losing sleep right now. That’s what winning does."

The Winnipeg Sun's Paul Friesen wondered whether the Jets' efforts--and they've won 3 of their past 4 games, but they've only won 4 of their past 10, boasting a 4-4-and-2 record--is the sign of stabilization for a wobbly team...

The timing couldn't be better. Tension between head coach Claude Noel and winger Evander Kane had resurfaced, the kind of thing that, left to fester, can spread like mould behind drywall. Two wins after the curious "healthy scratch" episode, and the problem is nowhere to be found.

"It just brings a lot more joy in your world," Noel said of winning. "Little problems don't exist, or they get swept under the rug. Comaraderie's better. Everything's better. It's just way more enjoyable. You play to win. And when you don't win it gets rough. We've had enough rough seas for a while."

So have the Jets simply averted serious trouble, or are they actually making real progress? Let's face it, we're not quite sure what it is they're building. There's no fancy sign that says "Coming Soon," complete with an artist's rendering of the finished product.

If this team has a future identity, we've only caught glimpses of it. Intriguing glimpses, recently.

"To a certain point we're starting to get on a little bit of a roll," winger Devin Setoguchi said. "But it's not like we just turn on a switch. We've got a lot of new guys and a new system... and we're starting to get the hang of it now. We have evolved as a team a little bit and we're starting to realize we need to play the right way in order to get where we need to be."

That sounds encouraging. But it also sounds like little more than a foundation.

Shouldn't the foundation be in place by now? The manager of the project hopes, after a few unforeseen collapses, that it is, that it's time to move to the next phase.

"The biggest thing for us is to kind of take the step, try to build on some of this stuff," Noel said. "We talk about that all the time -- trying to get to that stage. Use this as something. Now we're in this thing, so how can we use this in a positive light? You have to stay focused on dealing with the process and not the outcome."

And Friesen noted that the Jets most certainly believe that they can take out the Wings again:

"We've got a team that's going to remember how we played last time," Jets forward Devin Setoguchi said of the Wings, Monday. "And it's going to be a tough game for us."

Setoguchi, a former member of the Sharks, hinted the Wings weren't themselves in being out-shot, 47-28, a week ago.

"I just expect them to be the Detroit Red Wings," he said. "I've probably played them 30 times, including playoffs. So I expect them to be the same team they always are, going into that rink."

Detroit has won just three of nine at home this season, losing its last five, the last three in overtime. So the Jets, coming off Sunday's 5-4 shootout win over the Sharks, are either catching them at a good time -- or a really, really bad time.

"I'd like us to go into Detroit with the mindset of expecting to win," head coach Claude Noel said. "That's a little bit of large comment, especially from where we've come. But I mean that in the context of building on the confidence we've built within ourselves."

If you really wish to listen to Illegal Curve's audio clips of Andrew Ladd, Setoguchi, Grant Clitsome or Bryan Little speaking with the media, or you want to watch Noel's 9-and-a-half-minute presser, Setoguchi, Ladd or Clitsome speaking with the media on the Jets' website, you may most certainly do so, but the Winnipeg Sun's Ken Wiebe actually penned a very solid game preview while traveling to Detroit...

The Red Wings got to Winnipeg on a hot streak, but the Jets arrive at Joe Louis Arena to face a team that is 0-1-2 and has lost five consecutive games on home ice.

Word out of Detroit is that Johan Franzen is ready to return after sitting out a few games due to illness, while veteran Danny Cleary could be a healthy scratch Tuesday.

With Stephen Weiss out with a groin injury, St. Andrews product Darren Helm has been bumped up to the second line with Daniel Alfredsson and Franzen.

I don’t expect the Jets to make any lineup changes Tuesday, though you can be sure that D Zach Redmond would love to play his first game of the season in the state he grew up in (Redmond was born in Houston but grew up in a Detroit suburb).

Chances are good that Pavelec will be back between the pipes, but backup Al Montoya was solid against the Red Wings last week and played his college hockey at the University of Michigan, so it will be worth watching which G leaves the ice first after the morning skate Tuesday.

I’ll be checking in with updates following the morning skate from Joe Louis Arena — a place I haven’t been since the Jets returned to the NHL. I have attended a couple of Red Wings’ playoff games at The Joe (I snuck down during Manitoba Moose trips to Grand Rapids on several occasions), so it should be a fun atmosphere.

NHL.com's Jon Lane sets up the game from a balanced perspective...

Big story: The Jets held an optional morning skate Monday at MTS Centre fresh off their comeback win Sunday against the San Jose Sharks. A team that's been inconsistent to start the season is winners of three of its last four and travels to Detroit looking to maintain the momentum.

"I'd like us to go into Detroit with a mindset of expecting to win," coach Claude Noel told reporters after the skate. "That's a large comment, especially from where we've come from. But I mean that in the context of building on the confidence we've built within ourselves."

You have to go back to the previous Winnipeg franchise to find the last time the Jets won a regular-season game in Detroit. That was Jan. 8. 1996, before the franchise moved to Phoenix. Goalie Tim Cheveldae faced 47 shots to pace Winnipeg to a 6-4 victory.

Jets [team scope]: Andrew Ladd scored the tying goal with 1:43 left in regulation and scored the shootout winner to complete Winnipeg's 5-4 win Sunday. The Jets overcame deficits of 2-0, 3-1 and 4-3, and have won two straight games for the first time since winning their opening two.

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Red Wings [team scope]: Detroit is dealing with a five-game losing streak on home ice and begins the week in third place in the Atlantic Division.

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Who's hot: Jets forward Devin Setoguchi has two goals and two assists in his past four games and nine points in 18 games in his first season in Winnipeg. Ladd has six points (two goals, four assists) in his past four. Bryan Little has 10 goals and is after his career-high of 31 scored in 2008-09. Dustin Byfuglien has five of his assists on the power play and leads the Jets in power-play points … Red Wings forwards Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk have combined for 17 of the team's 45 goals. Zetterberg is riding a five-game scoring streak (four goals, four assists). Datsyuk has six points in five games (two goals, four assists) in November.

Injury report: The Jets have four players on injured reserve: defensemen Mark Stuart (hip), Paul Postma (blood clot in leg) and Jacob Trouba (upper body) and forward Jim Slater (sports hernia surgery) … Red Wings forward Johan Franzen (upper body/illness) is cleared to play after missing five of the past six games. Stephen Weiss (strained groin) is questionable. Brendan Smith (separated shoulder) and Jonathan Ericsson (upper body) are on injured reserve.

And you might imagine that STATS LLC's game preview involves the obvious:

The Jets (8-9-2) had lost six of seven overall before beating Detroit 4-2 last Monday, preventing the Red Wings' from sweeping a four-game trek through Canada.

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Winnipeg will try to keep heading in the right direction against a Detroit team mired in its longest home losing streak since a six-game skid Feb. 8-March 3, 1986. Four of the five defeats during this slide have come after regulation, including a 3-2 overtime loss to Tampa Bay on Saturday.

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The Red Wings could use a better performance from their power play, which is 1 for 18 in the last six games. Detroit's penalty kill, though, has allowed one goal in the last 22 opposing power plays.

The Jets are 1 for 44 with the man advantage in their last 14 games and gave up two power-play goals to San Jose on Sunday after killing off 11 consecutive penalties.

...

Zetterberg has four goals and four assists in five games this month. He has six goals and 10 assists in 10 career matchups with the Jets franchise, and he scored in last week's defeat at Winnipeg.

Ladd also scored that night, giving him five goals in his last five games against the Red Wings. He has eight points in his past six contests overall.

The Jets have lost three straight road games in regulation and are 2-4-2 all-time in Detroit, losing 7-1 in their last visit Dec. 30, 2011.

The vast majority of today's Red Wings stuff is more or less a repeat from Monday's practice post, and I'm not thrilled with that fact, but one must make due with what's available.

MLive's Ansar Khan's take on Daniel Cleary's offensive struggles is "new"...

“For a guy of his hockey sense and his ability he’s got to be a factor every night and I don’t see that,’’ [Wings coach Mike] Babcock said.

Cleary has just one goal and two assists in 18 games. That’s why he was wearing a gray jersey in Monday’s practice, which typically is for players who are scratched the next game.

...

Cleary isn’t the only forward struggling offensively for a team that desperately needs support for stars Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, who are carrying the club. Johan Franzen, who will return on Tuesday after missing five of the past six games with an upper-body injury, has just two goals and five points in 13 games. Second-line center Stephen Weiss, out with a pulled groin, has two goals and three points in 17 games.

“The bottom line is we have a lot of guys offensively that have been challenged to score,’’ Babcock said. “Is that a lack of confidence; is that a lack of opportunity? I just know each and every day as a coaching staff we go through the previous game and we look at what we did and we try and dress the best lineup that’ll help us win. Sometimes you never know for sure. You dress a lineup and watch them play. You base it on facts and that’s what we try to do.’’

Cleary insisted that he's okay...

Asked if he is frustrated by his start, Cleary said, “I don’t know. I just have to play better.’’ He called it the “ebbs and flows of hockey.’’

“The only thing you can control is your attitude and work ethic,’’ Cleary said. “I have to play better and I have to produce more.’’

He spoke with Babcock before practice but declined to reveal what was said.

As the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness also noted:

“You have to be able to bring different things to the table, try and focus and play well defensively,” said Cleary, who got a one-year deal worth $1.75 million. “I believe that’s the key to creating offense anyway.”

Cleary, 34, reportedly was offered a three-year deal worth $2.75 million a season to join the Flyers but he shot down a report on his first day at camp. When Cleary rejected the Wings’ two- and three-year offers prior to the opening of free agency they moved on and signed Daniel Alfredsson (one year, $5.5 million) and Stephen Weiss (five years, $24.5 million).

“Hockey is such a game of confidence,” Cleary said. “I just have to stay positive and work hard. Hockey changes so fast. One day you’re feeling great and the next day you’re not feeling so great. You have to be positive, be professional and work hard. There’s a lot of hockey left here in the season.

“Adversity is nothing new to me,” Cleary continued. “I’m not really thinking a lot of about it actually.”

The Free Press's Helene St. James posted both an article about Cleary and a video of Cleary and Babcock speaking to the media...

Khan took note of the Wings' practice lines...

Brendan Smith (shoulder) did not practice. He is eligible to come off of short-term injured reserve but Babcock said it doesn’t appear he’ll be ready to play Tuesday. Jonathan Ericsson looks to be on schedule to return Friday from long-term IR.

“(Ericsson) is not allowed to play (Tuesday) and Smitty missed practice so he must not must not be allowed to play,’’ Babcock said. “We’d like to get him back.’’

Here are the lines and defense pairs they were skating with today:

Henrik Zetterberg-Pavel Datsyuk-Todd Bertuzzi

Johan Franzen-Darren Helm-Daniel Alfredsson

Tomas Tatar-Joakim Andersson-Mikael Samuelsson

Drew Miller-Luke Glendening-Justin Abdelkader

Skating in gray (healthy scratches): Daniel Cleary, Patrick Eaves, Jordin Tootoo

Injured: Stephen Weiss (groin)

Niklas Kronwall-Danny DeKeyser

Brian Lashoff-Jakub Kindl

Kyle Quincey-Xavier Ouellet

Jonathan Ericsson (IR, shoulder)

Not skating: Brendan Smith (IR, shoulder)

Jimmy Howard

Jonas Gustavsson

And Pleiness noted that Franzen won't reveal what ailed him:

[H]e still won’t disclose the “upper-body injury” that has had him sidelined the last four games.

“When it’s 100 percent healed,” Franzen said when asked when he’ll say what the injury is.”

He said it’s been the same issue the whole time, but it’s not an injury he had before.”

“I just couldn’t play,” Franzen said. “I wasn’t ready.”

He added he feels he’s ready to play with how he’s been practicing.

“I thought I could tell you today but I couldn’t,” Franzen said.

He also laughed off speculation that he’s dealing with anxiety issues, something he’s had when he was younger.

“That’s definitely is not the issue,” Franzen said.

The Wings did address the issues plaguing their games of late while speaking with DetroitRedWings.com's Andrea Nelson:

HOME SLIDE: Detroit will try to avoid a six-game home winless streak on Tuesday when they host the Jets. With a 3-2 overtime loss to Tampa Bay on Saturday, the Red Wings extended their home winless streak to five games. The last time the Red Wings experienced a five-game slide at Joe Louis was during the 1996-97 season, when they lost to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (1-0) in overtime; tied St. Louis (1-1) and Toronto (2-2); and were defeated by Ottawa (3-2) and St. Louis (3-1).

Winnipeg hasn’t won in Detroit since January 8, 1996, and defeated the Red Wings 4-2 last week at the MTS Centre.

“They took it to us pretty good,” Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard said. “I think that’s fresh in all of our minds and we should be looking for a little bit of revenge here tomorrow night.”

TURNOVER TROUBLE: Turnovers have plagued the Red Wings in their winless streak, most recently against Tampa Bay when a giveaway late in the overtime period cost Detroit the game. The Wings have given up the puck 37 times in their past five matchups, including eight against the Lightning and 10 in their last meeting with the Jets.

“I think the other night against Dallas, I thought we played really a good game all around,” Howard said. “It’s just a couple of bad breaks in the net and here the other night Z has a great shot there in the third to tie it up and another mistake and it cost us again. So we just have to find a way to eliminate those mistakes from our games and I think we’ll be better off for it.”

Otherwise, the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan offers the following in this morning's notebook...

Goalie fights: NHL general managers will discuss possible changes to fighting rules, particularly with goaltenders, at their annual meetings Tuesday in Toronto. The goalie discussions have been front and center since Philadelphia's Ray Emery pummeled Washington's Braden Holtby recently during a bench-clearing brawl.

Goalie Jimmy Howard doesn't see the need to fight if one doesn't want to.

"You shouldn't have to fight," said Howard, who has been in two fights in his career (one in junior hockey). "I know I wouldn't stand up to (Emery); that's one guy on my list I would try to find the nearest exit."

Defense update: Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson is close to returning. Defenseman Brendan Smith, maybe not so much.

Ericsson (shoulder) practiced Monday and should be ready to go Friday when he's eligible to come off long-term injured-reserve.

Smith (shoulder) is eligible to come off short-term IR Tuesday but didn't practice Monday, which doesn’t seem to be a good sign.

St. James posted an article and video of Howard discussing the goalie fighting issue, and Howard's comment about keeping his blocker on is telling, because your blocker is really your best weapon in a fight as the blunt end of fifteen inches of hard plastic and high-density foams can do a lot of damage.

MLive's Khan also took note of Howard's comments...

"I really don’t want to ever see Ray Emery skate down at me,’’ Howard said. “You shouldn’t have to fight. I wouldn’t stand up to him, that’s one guy on my list that I probably would try to find the nearest exit to the ice, whether it be the Zamboni doors or the bench. I mean, jeez, you click on YouTube and you watch him take on heavyweights out there.’’

Teams don’t want their goalies fighting and risking injury. But Howard admits it can be particularly entertaining.

“Fighting with goalies, it’s always been part of the game, so I think even the players like it,’’ Howard said. “The one way for a bench brawl to stop is have the goalies square off because everyone seems to stop and watch the goalies.’’

As well as some new ones from Jonas Gustavsson:

Jonas Gustavsson said he’s never come close to fighting at any level, so any possible rule change wouldn’t affect him, unless he was forced to fight, like Holtby.

“I guess it depends on the situation,’’ Gustavsson said. “Not that it happens that often, but if everyone starts fighting and you see two guys or three guys go against one guy, a teammate, you got to help out. But that a really rare case.’’

He added, “If some guy jumps you, you got to try to defend yourself. Can’t really turn around if he keeps going at you.’’

Goalie fights don't have much to do with tonight's game, but I'm starting to wonder whether Jimmy Howard might need to give some of his teammates a hack or two to get some bloody "run support."

 

 

 

Also of Red Wings-related note: The Detroit Free Press argues that as many as 14 members of the 2002 and 2008 Stanley Cup teams should eventually be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, with Dominik Hasek, Nicklas Lidstrom, Sergei Fedorov, Pavel Datsyuk and Ken Holland left to go;

The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson notes that the Wings will have to send Jordin Tootoo down to Grand Rapids once Brendan Smith and Jonathan Ericsson are healthy, but he believes that the Wings will eventually have to waive Patrick Eaves (see: to recall Gustav Nyquist), and if Eaves goes on waivers, Matheson believes Eaves will be claimed:

- If Detroit Red Wings agitator Jordin Tootoo was making $1.1 million a year, not $1.9 million, somebody might have taken him on waivers recently. “It’s the term more than the dollars. He’s got another year after this one,” said one NHL team. “Teams are so tight to the cap.” The Wings may have to put Patrick Eaves on waivers shortly, too, because of numbers. I can’t imagine he’d clear; he’s a $1.2-million cap hit, and he’d be good on a Western contender like the San Jose Sharks, the Vancouver Canucks or even the Chicago Blackhawks.

Matheson also offered something of a "blurb" about Chris Chelios:

Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon was a Chicago TV colourman for years before getting into hockey ops with the Blackhawks, then the GM job, and he saw first-hand why Hall of Famer Chris Chelios was so good or so long.

“The zest he has for life is incredible,” said Tallon.

“Every day, he brought that passion to the rink, to the games, everywhere you went with Chris, he was full of life. There was never a dull moment.

“In the games, you paid the price every time you played against him. He gave everything he had every shift, every game. Amazing to have that energy all the time, no matter what the age. Not many people are like Chris. Amazing warrior.”

In the merchandise category, Andrea Nelson noted that the Wings held a "photo shoot" to promote their now-digital Hockeytown Authentics catalog...

Niklas Kronwall never thought he’d see the day when he’d be modeling.

“No definitely not,” the defenseman said of modeling as a Red Wing. “That was not one of the goals I had.”

But Kronwall was more than happy to act the part for the new launch of the Detroit Red Wings digital merchandise catalog.

“Anything we can do to help out, whether it’s merchandise or any other aspects to grow the organization, get even more fans and more people involved and selling more merchandise so to speak, we’re happy to help,” Kronwall said.

In past years, the Red Wings had produced a print catalog that was mailed to customers. The brand new digital catalog will be launched on the team’s website on Nov. 11, offering many new options to Hockeytown fans across the country and world.

“Basically what we want is to give them what we feel is the best of the best,” said Maggie Sweeney, the Red Wings retail promotions manager. “We know how difficult it can be for our friends who are spread out across the country to get anything. We will have some exclusive items in here as well, that typically you would only be able to get at our store that’s in Troy or here at the arena, so that gives them a little taste of that exclusivity. We don’t want our diehard fans who just happened to be out of the area any less special than our diehard fans that are in the area.”

The digital catalog will include items such as sweatshirts, T-shirts, long-sleeved shirts, sweatpants and much more. New items will also be added to the selection of products throughout the season, a luxury that wasn’t available with the print catalog.

And yes, the Wings posted a video of the shoot:

The Red Wings announced that they're holding "Viewing Parties" starting on Sunday, November 24th at MotorCity Casino's Sound Board, with Jiri Fischer in attendance for the first event, too;

In a different merchandising vein, the CTV Windsor notes that the Windsor Spitfires unveiled the jersey they'll be wearing during their Hockeytown Winter Festival game against the Saginaw Spirit;

Red Wings director of pro scouting Mark Howe spoke with Windsor's CTV News in an 8-minute interview promoting his new book, "Gordie Howe's Son: A Hall of Fame Life in the Shadow of Mr. Hockey," which just came out in print.

Darren McCarty's biography, "My Last Fight: the True Story of a Hockey Rock Star," co-written by Kevin Allen, will come out on December 1st;

In charitable news, the Wyandotte News-Herald's Jim Kasuba reports that the Red Wings' Alumni Association will play a game in Wyandotte on Monday, November 18th:

Organizers of the Blessings in a Backpack program are counting on hockey fans to “Pack the Yack” for an upcoming charity game pitting Detroit Red Wings alumni against Wyandotte city and schools officials.

Pack the Yack for Blessings in a Backpack takes place Sunday at Yack Recreation Center, 3131 Third St. The doors open at 4 p.m. and the puck drops at 5 p.m. Tickets are $10 each and if any are left on game day a limited number will be sold at the door on a first-come, first-served basis.

Andrea Fuller, a member of the Blessings in a Backpack steering committee, said it’s not known exactly which Red Wings’ alumni will play in the game.

“We do know that Hall of Famer Dino Ciccarelli will be there,” Fuller said. “He was kind enough to donate a Red Wings’ current team-signed jersey that will be raffled off the night of the game.”

However, the roster of Wyandotte players is known and they include some very well-known names among city and school officials, as well as coaches. Those players are Chad Bonmon, Kevin Butler, Matt Siewniak, Paul Ciaravino, Brian Cotner, Adam DeSana, Barry Goudy, Bob Hensley, Tony Jesue, David Knight, Steve Kovalchik, Ken Laub, Chris Laura, Joe Lozowski, Joe Mayhew, Josh Morrison, Joe Peterson, Joe Quint, Mike Quint, Jeremy Sladovnik, Joe Stanley, Patrick Sutka, Jeff Tessler and William Zunich.

For those unfamiliar with the Blessings in a Backpack-Wyandotte, it’s a program that provides backpacks filled with food on Fridays that helps feed at-risk children over the weekend.

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Tickets can be purchased in advance at Yack Recreation Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or by calling 1-734-775-2387.

Blessings in a Backpack Wyandotte is on Facebook, where more information can be found.

And finally, you'll have to excuse me for holding my nose as I post this week's first slates of power rankings. ESPN's Pierre LeBrun offered a brief assessment of the Wings' fortunes...

13. Detroit [record] 9-5-4 Last Week: 9 The Wings still can't get into their usual groove in the Eastern Conference.

The Wings remained in the same spot in USA Today's power rankings...

14  DetroitRed Wings 9-5-4 [highest/lowest]  6/14  Red Wings trying to find an effective second line, suddenly can't win at home.

CBS Sports' Brian Stubits gave the Wings a slight demotion...

14. Red Wings [last week 12]: The Red Wings are consistently inconsistent as their run of mirrored streaks continued with three straight losses after three straight wins.

And TSN's Scott Cullen's pushed the Wings out of his "playoff pack" again:

This Week17 Last Week1 2 Detroit Red Wings 9-5-4: Winless in three, the Red Wings still have just one regulation loss in the last seven, which is at least decent treading of water until they get more production from the supporting cast.

Key Injuries: D Jonathan Ericsson (upper body).

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As much as I’ll be cheering for both teams tonight, if the Wings lose again tonight, oi vey. Best I can hope for is a shootout win…..for the Wings.
Jets have been playing good lately and they need every point to stay in the playoff race, which is much tougher out West. Interestingly, Mark Scheifele seems to love playing against the Wings since his game last week against them was by far his best, and he has sort of slipped out of sight again since.
Jets have some very good talent but have serious depth issues on the back end, and the bottom 6 forwards, and don’t have a legitimate No. 2 centre. Setoguchi has been a disappointment. He’s one of those guys who looks great when Joe Thornton is feeding the passes. Doug Wilson’s smart trading those guys and getting upgrades.

Posted by manitobaredwingfan on 11/12/13 at 10:59 AM ET

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Soo…. I’m straight up expecting the Red Wings to win tonight. What started this losing in the first place was the Winnipeg jets when we were in Canada. I expect some revenge, some “I’m tired of losing at home and upsetting the fans”, and I’m expecting some “oh shoot, Cleary just got sat, I better get my ass in gear”. and I read somewhere that the red wings will eventually waive eaves to bring up Nyquist.
Here’s my take.. IF, when, the wings bring up nyquist,  maybe some time in December, the wings should have Erricson, Weiss, and smith back, along with scrappy AND skilled 3rd line of nyquist, tartar and andy. This team will be looking very different.
LGRW

Posted by Pasha1277 on 11/12/13 at 11:00 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Recipe for ending 5-game home losing streak…Sit #71?

When you replace #71 with #37, all you have is a recipe for more of the same. It’s going to take a lot more than sitting Buckets to turn things around for the Wings.

The Wings may have to put Patrick Eaves on waivers shortly, too, because of numbers. I can’t imagine he’d clear; he’s a $1.2-million cap hit, and he’d be good on a Western contender like the San Jose Sharks, the Vancouver Canucks or even the Chicago Blackhawks.

And if that happens, we’ll get to watch a productive member of the team get lost for nothing while Sammy misses hold-ins on the power play and shoots pucks three feet over the net. Well played, Tick Tock.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 11/12/13 at 11:55 AM ET

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Well I must agree with you the whole Sammy missing PP hold-ins.. lmao, I really hope we can get settled in with the regulars and be an effective team all around. I want to shed the dead-weight in Sammy, I don’t mind if eaves leaves (rhyme) either. Eaves doesn’t possess the prowess that the some of the other players do. Don’t get me wrong, I like Eaves what he brings to the team, but to bring up Nyquist who has proven he can produce in the playoffs a little bit and is already owning in the AHL, who else would we get rid of? Eaves is the only other member. I would definitely keep cleary over Eaves. So, ditch Sammy, get our regualrs back in, get healthy and we’ve got a team. THAT way, when we lose, it’s because of unfortunate bounces, and maybe fatigue.  I want to lose honorably, no more losing because of dumb ass mistakes on a nightly basis. We win a few, lose one, win a few more, lose one, not this roller coaster of wins and losses.

Posted by Pasha1277 on 11/12/13 at 12:06 PM ET

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So it took 18 games for the Babcock to realize that Cleary sucks? Gee, I wish Holland and Babcock didn’t drink the Cleary koolaid in the off-season. What a joke of a signing.

Posted by ZandPasha11 on 11/12/13 at 12:07 PM ET

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So it took 18 games for the Babcock to realize that Cleary sucks?

Well, the 48 regular season games last year didn’t clue him in so I’m surprised he’d ever realize it at all.

Posted by Garth on 11/12/13 at 12:21 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.